Chevrolet redesigned its, bread-and-butter sedan, the Impala, in 1965. This proved to be a good idea for Chevrolet as the Impala set an annual sales record of more than 1 million units. This record would not be beaten by the Impala again.
1965 and 1965 Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet also introduced a new top-of-the-line Impala called the Impala Caprice in 1965. Unlike the 1961-1964 Impala, the all new 1965 full-size Chevrolet switched to a full-width perimeter frame with a redesigned full-coil suspension. The new body featured curved, frameless side glass and had sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows.
The luxury Caprice featured unique tufted upholstery, wood grained accents on the dashboard and specialty interior door pulls. The Caprice had the spinner wheel covers and the blackout rear trim strip below the triple taillights borrowed from the Impala SS. The Caprice Custom would be reintroduced as a separate make in 1966 as the top-line Chevrolet.
Engine choices in 1965 included the inline six-cylinder as well as the traditional Chevorlet small-block and big-block V8s. The newly introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission was optional for the big-block engine, displacing 396 cubic inches. The old 409-cubic-inch “W” engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year. Other transmission option included a Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions. The Impala sales domination continued for 1966. It would be the #2-selling convertible, with the Ford Mustang as #1.
1967 Chevrolet Impala
The 1967 Impala received a body redesigned with enhanced Coke bottle styling. Other updates included a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models, which were mandated by federal safety regulations.
1968 Chevrolet Impala
The 1968 model was received mild updates, including a a new front end, new rear bumper which housed triple “horseshoe” shaped taillights. Chevrolet also introduced the Impala Custom Coupe in 1968. The model shared the same formal roofline as the Caprice Coupe. As with other Impalas, the Custom Coupe was a huge commercial success.
1969 Chevrolet Impala
The popular muscular Coke bottle styling was getting stale on the Impala. As a result, Chevrolet gave the Impala and other full-sized Chevrolets new slab-sided bodies with a small upsweep at the rear quarter window. This gave the Impala a larger more formal appearance. New front bumpers that wrapped around the grille and horizontal taillights in the rear bumper also made the Impala look wider. Ventless front windows were used on all models. The hardtop Sport Coupe got a new, crisply styled notchback roofline, replacing the 1967–68 ”fastback” C-pillar. Impala production topped Caprice production by 611,000 units for the model year.
1970 Chevrolet Impala
The Impala got a minor facelift in 1970 featuring a more conventional under the grille bumper. The Impala received new triple vertical taillights in the rear bumper. Otherwise the Impala would be unchanged from 1970.
The Impala would be all-new for 1971.
For more information on the Impala, see our post on the 1961-1964 Chevrolet Impala. For information on the Impala’s biggest rivals, see our posts on the 1965-1968 Plymouth Fury or the 1965-1968 Ford Galaxie. Or for other Chevrolets, see our post on the 1967-1972 Chevrolet C/K or the Chevrolet Malibu. For other makes during this era, see our post on the Ford Torino.
To find a Classic for yourself, see the Classics for Sale listings.